What will our towns and cities face as a

new version of normality?

There is yet to be an industry or location, that has been unaffected or challenged by Covid-19. All across the globe, plans are being scrapped, business models redefined and an approach to everyday life is having to make drastic changes. There is no timeline as to whether life will return to the normality before Covid-19 and many do not think we can afford to take a step backward. Each step in the fight against this pandemic has been approached on a week by week basis, however, what changes can we already see having a longer impact?

Timelines disrupted and innovation a necessity

Across the housing market, construction sites, and planning divisions, Covid-19 has caused a build-up of delays and revised timelines. Local Planning Authorities across the UK are canceling meetings due to social distancing guidelines and while live-streaming meetings have been widely adopted, legal requirements dictate a need for in-person communication. Technology can help us avoid a complete lack of interaction, but some areas cannot survive long-term with it.

Business-critical construction projects have been made a priority to avoid deadlines being pushed back further, however, even with restrictions adjusted to allow this industry to go back to work, that still requires revised planning and a lot of negotiation. National Strategic Infrastructure Planning applications that often adhere to a strict timeline may now be subject to delayed completion.

If the industry needed time in which to see if technological alternatives could be used instead of the usual processes … Covid-19 has delivered that.

Finding space in a city

It is an easy transition to fill an empty space with buildings and transportation, yet harder to take it away. Large scale changes could be on the way to avoid returning to cities that were originally limited in green space. An adaptable approach could be the best route, for example, many stores are looking to move online, that could free up potential spots in busy locations for open space.

The government's guidelines for a two-metre gap between each individual is difficult to do in a city such as London. Covid-19 is being seen as a golden opportunity to make hugely populated regions eco-friendly. Nevertheless, radically changing infrastructure-heavy areas will not come cheap, but the costs are proving to be widely accepted due to a new emphasis on health and wellbeing since the beginning of the lockdown.

London, which has until recently been riddled with crowded underground stations and congested roads, now needs to rethink its construction strategy to accommodate a need for space. This dilemma is found in most towns and cities across the country and while the government encourages walking and cycling for those commuting, there needs to be a way to accommodate this potentially long-term adjustment.

 

It will take a consistent form of analysis on what is happening across the construction industry to see what changes are made as a permanent solution or a short-term sustainable fix. We want to ensure we are providing ongoing updates for our clients and candidates to access so they can make informed decisions and we can support them with all the information as our disposal. Get in touch with Colin and me to discuss your next steps.

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